More federal help urged for Canadian farmers’ mental health

All-party committee calls for Ottawa to address potential impacts of new policies their well-being

A farm tractor and baler sit in a hay field on a misty morning near Cremona, Alta. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Lawmakers are calling on the federal government to better support Canadian farmers who they say are more at risk of mental-health issues like stress, depression and suicidal thoughts than other segments of the population.

In a new report Tuesday, members of an all-party parliamentary committee made 10 recommendations — including ensuring the government considers and addresses any potential impacts from new policies on the well-being of agricultural producers.

The MPs also recommended the public-awareness campaigns to deal with an increasing number of incidents of intimidation, cyberbullying and threats faced by farmers from people who take issue with their occupations and practices.

The report says farmers struggle with many challenges — such as market volatility, debt, long work days, unpredictable weather and loneliness.

Committee chair and New Brunswick Liberal MP Pat Finnigan says the well-being of farmers is critical because the agriculture sector feeds Canadians and helps drive the entire economy.

Alberta Conservative MP Earl Dreeshen says the incidence of mental-health problems within the farming sector is reaching crisis proportions.

Dreeshen says agriculture producers and their families are increasingly experiencing “high levels of stress, depression and even suicidal thoughts — the causes are many and varied.”

READ MORE: Animal rights group invades B.C. pig farm

He added that farmers sometimes face hardship from government policies, such as the carbon tax and concessions made in recent trade agreements.

The report is based on testimony from farmers, mental-health experts and government officials.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Three on ballot, two running for Union Bay Improvement District board

Voters will go to the polls to choose new board member on Saturday, Nov. 23

Comox Valley initiative collects items for those in need

Everybody Deserves A Smile (EDAS) is a ‘Kindness Care Package Project’ that… Continue reading

Campbell River to house regional composting facility

A new regional composting facility will be built at the Campbell River… Continue reading

Ecofish founder receives provincial honour

Award was given at Generate Conference earlier this month

Comox Valley tent event a reminder of housing crisis

A Survival Drive that culminated with a tent event generated a large… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Most Read